Posts Tagged Exorcism

14 Day Lenten Series: Part 13 A Short Explanation on the Rite of Exorcisms

10 April 2017

What is an Exorcism?

Imprimatur: Michael Augustine,
Archbishop of New York, 1893

An exorcism is the exercise of the power left by Christ to His Church to drive out evil spirits and to break their influence over men.

Means of Grace ExorcismIt is certain that the devil has power over men. True, Christ destroyed his dominion, so that he cannot any longer be a hindrance to their happiness. Yet He permits the devil to tempt men, as He Himself was tempted by him, in order to try men and to give them an opportunity to imitate His example, and to drive him away as Christ drove him away from Himself in the desert. But then God permits the evil spirit to afflict man in his body, either to punish him for his sins, or to try him. This we learn from the history of Job and of the possessed man in the gospel. Our Saviour says, “I saw Satan falling from heaven.” By this Our Saviour wished to say that Satan indeed had been hurled by the power of the Blessed Trinity from heaven into hell, yet not that he was totally deprived of his power: else He would not have given to His disciples the power to drive out devils. We read that St. Paul actually did expel evil spirits (Acts xix. 12), and he himself says: “Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood: but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness” (Eph. v. 12). St. James the apostle says: “Resist the devil, and he will fly from you” (James iv. 7). St. Peter writes: “Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist ye, strong in faith” (I. Pet. v. 9).

In these struggles the Church comes to our assistance, and in her exorcisms supplies us with a weapon against the devil. A Christian may command the devil, in the name of Jesus Christ, to desist from evil. He need but sign himself with the sign of the cross and sprinkle holy water.

From the Fathers

“The so-called demons or evil spirits seek nothing more than to decoy men from God, the Creator of all things, and from Christ, His only begotten Son. Such persons as are not capable of lifting themselves above the earth are held fast to earthly things, and to things made by the hands of men, by these evil spirits. Such as are competent of rising to the contemplation of heavenly things, if they are not strong in mind, and if they do not live pure and free from passion, these the evil spirits will seek to make godless” (St. Justin Martyr). “Many Christians in the whole world, as well as in your city, were relieved from evil spirits by exorcisms in the name of Jesus Christ Who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, though they had failed to find relief from other helpers, potions, and diabolical conjurations. They are cured by having the devils that possess them driven out and rendered powerless ” (The Same). ” The demons which assail men destroy their ill-disposed souls by many false pretences, in order that they may not be able to regain their way to heaven. Sometimes, too, by the tempest of their malice, they agitate our bodies, but by the power of the word of God they are weakened, and the afflicted person is restored to health ” (Tatian). “It is known to most of you that the demons confess themselves whenever, by the power of the word and the fervor of prayer, they are driven out of their victims’ bodies. As soon as they are conjured in the name of the one living God, they tremble involuntarily, and in the consciousness of suffering they either spring forth from the bodies at once or they vanish gradually, according as the faith of the victim or the grace of the exorcist has power and effect ” (Minucius Felix). “Many Christians drive devils out of possessed persons by ordinary prayers and simple means, just as any simple person can” (Origen). “Will the Christian hold vigils before the temples of the idols that he has renounced, or participate in eating where it was so displeasing to the Apostle? And will he take under his protection at night those whom he has exorcised during the day?” (Tertullian.)

EXAMPLES:

A Devil Asserts His Right.

The church historian Tertullian relates a remarkable case of a woman possessed by the devil, which we will repeat in his own words, and without any comment, leaving the reader to make the moral application. Tertullian says: “We have an instance of a woman who went to an improper public spectacle and came back possessed by a devil. When the unclean spirit was forced by exorcisms to explain how he dared to attack a believer, he answered, ‘I acted with authority and right, for I found her in a place that belongs to me.'”

The Confession of a Devil.

In the Life of St. Bernard we read: “A man brought his possessed wife to the saint. The devil continued to speak in a tone of mockery through the woman: ‘ This vegetarian and root-eater cannot drive me from my slut,’ as he termed the woman. He uttered also other derisive language in order to insult the man of God and degrade him before the people. But the saint knew the wily ways of the devil, and mocked the mocker. He ordered the evil spirit to bring the possessed woman into the church at Pavia, dedicated to Syrus, in order to give the glory of her restoration to that martyr. The saint said to the evil one, ‘Neither St. Syrus nor St. Bernard will expel you, but the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Then he began to pray, and besought God for help to overcome the devil. The evil spirit cried out, changing his tone and language: “Oh, how gladly would I flee from this slut! How gladly I would escape the pains I am suffering on account of these prayers! But I cannot! ‘When questioned why he could not get away, he replied, ‘Because it is not pleasing to the most high God.’ When St. Bernard inquired who this most high God might be, the spirit answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ St. Bernard continued: ‘Then you know the Lord Jesus? Where have you seen Him?’ The devil answered, ‘I have seen Him in His glory.’ ‘Then you were in glory?’ said the saint. ‘How did you come to leave it?’ The evil spirit said, ‘Many of us fell with Lucifer.’ These words he uttered in a doleful, lachrymose tone through the mouth of the woman, in the hearing of all who were present. ‘Would you be willing to return to that glory?’ inquired St. Bernard. To this question the devil replied, in an unusually loud tone of voice, ‘It is too late.’ These were his last words, and he would not answer any further questions. Then St. Bernard prayed once more, the evil spirit fled away, and the woman returned home perfectly restored.”

Obsession as a Punishment for Despising the Advice of a Bishop

Dancing-parties were always looked upon as leading to the commission of sin. About the year 600 the holy Bishop Eligius, like every other true pastor of souls, preached vehemently against this abuse. But his wise words were neglected, just as the advice of preachers and confessors today is often ignored by thoughtless Christians. One day, such a dancing festival being held near his own house, the holy man went out and besought the dancers to stop the scandal. But they laughed and went on with their amusement. Punishment soon came, for some thirty of their number became possessed of the devil, and acted so violently that they had to be put in irons. Their obsession had lasted a year when the holy bishop had them led into the church, and then, throwing himself on his knees before God, he begged that the afflicted sinners might be relieved. His prayers were heard, and the possessed persons went away entirely cured. Do not many persons in our day return from dancing-parties fully possessed by the devil, if not in body, at least in soul?

Source: Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals


14 Day Lenten Series: Part Eight: The Triumph of the Blessed Sacrament

4 April 2017

Triumph of the Blessed Sacrament 04

The Triumph of the Blessed Sacrament
or History of Nicola Aubry
by Fr. Michael Muller, C.S.S.R., 1877

“It is indeed a remarkable fact that, as the devil made use of Luther, an apostate-monk, to abolish the Mass and deny the real presence, in like manner God made use of his arch-enemy, the devil, to prove the real presence. HE repeatedly forced him publicly to profess his firm belief in it, to confound the heretics for their disbelief, and acknowledge himself vanquished by our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. For this purpose God allowed a certain Mme. Nicola Aubry, an innocent person, to become possessed by Beelzebub and twenty-nine other evil spirits. The possession took place on the eighth of November, 1565, and lasted until the eighth of February, 1566.”–Fr. Michael Muller

To download the entire book, click on the link below. Alternatively, the book should be displayed below after a brief delay. If the book does not appear automatically, downloading the entire book, or opening in preview will be the best options.

Download the book, “The Triumph of the Blessed Sacrament
or History of Nicola Aubry”


“Exorcist” author reflects on Halloween, demonic possession, and faith via Patrick Madrid

31 October 2011

I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing the late Father Malachi Martin. One of the books he authored is titled, “Hostage to the Devil”. I won’t elaborate at this time concerning how I met him, got to know him & actually was mentored by him during a summer quite a few years ago.

What I will tell you is that this book completely convinced me that spiritual warfare was something we must believe and address in this modern world.I read Patrick Madrid’s blog the other day, and of course because the title of this piece, it catches one’s eye. As I read it, I was pleased to see that Patrick wrote about Father Martin’s book.

I totally believe in Divine Providence and that is the reason I am crossposting this piece today. After you read this very profound blogpost, I ask you to get a copy of “Hostage to the Devil”. If you don’t believe completely but understand there is evil in the world, this is the evidence you need. If you believe, this confirms your suspicions and prepares you for spiritual warfare. Either way, it’s a win win…


“Exorcist” author reflects on Halloween, demonic possession, and faith

October 28, 2011 by

I vividly recall my father warning me not to watch “The Exorcist” movie when it came out in 1973. Not that I was old enough, at just 13, to trundle down to the cinema and see it, but he wanted me to avoid it when I got old enough to go to movies on my own and without parental supervision.

My father hadn’t even seen the movie himself, but he had read the novel by the same title upon which the movie was based, and he told me that the book was truly frightening. He didn’t want my imagination to have to cope with the residue of horrifying mental images he said the book had permanently lodged in his mind.

Roger that, Dad. I followed your advice to the letter. Thank you. Nearly 40 years later, I can report to you that I not only never saw the movie, I never read the book, and I’m glad of it.

I did, however, make the mistake of reading Malachi Martin’s Hostage to the Devil — or, at least, three quarters of it, before I had to put it down.

Martin’s true-story accounts of demonic possession were simply too disturbing for me to continue reading. This is in part due to the fact that, like many people, I just don’t want or need scenes from such accounts playing themselves out in my imagination at the wrong moments, such as when I am trying to get to sleep in an unfamiliar house or hotel when I am traveling.

Click here to go to Patrick’s site for the rest of the post…

For more about Patrick Madrid please go to his site here…


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